Your Healthy Living – Osteoarthritis advice
Our Collagen expert Keith Allum gives his advice on easing Osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide – in the latest issue of Your Healthy Living Magazine.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
QUESTION: I suffer from osteoarthritis and currently take steroids, but these seem only to temporarily mask the pain. Is there anything you could recommend to help me get to the root cause of the problem and ease my discomfort?
KEITH ANSWERS: In a word, collagen. The most abundant protein in our bodies, found in every cell. It keeps connective tissue flexible, enabling bones and cartilage to bear weight.
Osteoarthritis is essentially caused by wear and tear and/or trauma on the body and is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. We all start out with the same amount of collagen, but that changes from as young as 25 when collagen levels diminish by about 1.5% every year.
Joints stiffen. By 45, collagen will reduce by up to 30%. Consequently, bone-on-bone contact, caused by the erosion of the cartilage ‘cushion’, can cause discomfort and arthritis pain.
Replace lost collagen by taking a natural collagen supplement. Research shows the best way to replenish collagen is orally (in drink form). According to a study published in the journal Science:- ‘oral administration of collagen improves symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis – with no side effects.’
A recommended dosage is 7gm-10gm per day and quality of product is key. Be aware of the collagen content and seek products that are completely natural and can be used in conjunction with the likes of glucosamine and chondroitin.
That way you are directly addressing the underlying issues involved in osteoarthritis, unlike NSAID (Non-Steroidial Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) which, as you rightly say, simply mask pain and provide no long-term solution.